Yaacov Parisi is a former Evangelical Pastor who started investigating the “Hebrew Roots” of his Christian faith and ended up converting to Orthodox Judaism ten years ago.
Born in an Italian Roman Catholic family Parisi became a fundamentalist Christian pastor of a non-denominational Protestant church called Shalom in Southern Oklahoma. He eventually closed his church, opting to go to Denver and convert to Judaism under the famous Hornsteipler Rebbe Mordechai Twerski.
After conversion Parisi and his wife moved to Israel but returned to the USA and is now studying at a Chabad Yeshivah and spending much time speaking on the Chabad circuit regaling enthusiastic audiences with the account of his conversion to Judaism.
“He’s very full of passion,” said Howard Hein, a student at the college. “I could see that he was an evangelical preacher. Just the way he talks. The way he relates the story, you could tell.”
We read. “As he spoke, Yaakov Ephraim whipped the crowd into an excited fervor, jumping as he spoke, swinging his arms and banging on the podium, exhibiting overall the energy of a much younger man. “L’chaim!” he called, as he took a drink of water, “L’chaim, L’chaim, Yaakov Ephraim!” came the reply from all assembled.”
From one fundamentalism to another fundamentalism, Parisi has swapped beliefs but still preaches like an excitable revivalist tub-thumper. It is not suprising that such conversionist stories are so welcomed by such a missionary minded group as Chabad!
We read that “Hecht heard the story and proposed the partnership. Parisi accepted and moved from Modiin Elite, Israel, to the Yeshivah, the 82-acre state headquarters of the Lubavitch movement.” Parisi is now a Chabadnik having swapped Messiahs!
Parisi is interviewed here.
Knowing the Sanhedrin’s love of the Noahides one wonders why non-Jews who are not married to Jews need to be converted to Judaism at all if there is the Noahide option, unless of course Noahidism is just a half-way house to obscure the truth that Chabad Judaism is a missionary religion!?
Predictably enough, Chabad have seized on Parisi’s story to promote their missionary activity. Here is Chabadnik video-blogger Levi interviewing Parisi, comparing Parisi’s faith journey to that of Abraham – lech lecha, and telling people to leave their homes and follow God’s voice! Meanwhile, Parisi encourages Jews not to walk away from faith, but to search the Torah and find the truth in their hearts:
Still, so long as Chabad preach a dead rabbi and not a resurrected rabbi as Moshiach, they will never be taken seriously by the anti-missionaries as a threat to Judaism – perhaps an embarrassment at the most.